Suicide centre honours brave teenager's legacy
on 25/09/2013 00:00:00
Called Donal's Rooms, they will be dedicated to furthering the teenager's message to young people not to take their own lives.
Donal, who died from cancer in May, spent his last months pleading with young people to get help if they had suicidal thoughts.
Console chief executive Paul Kelly said Donal's friends would design the rooms that would become a lifeline for young people living in the region.
"We are creating Donal's Rooms where young people in difficulty can get immediate professional help, counselling and support," said Mr Kelly.
"Donal's message that life is worth living really had an impact because he spoke from the heart."
Donal's mother, Elma, thanked people from the local community who contributed to the Donal Walsh Live Life fund.
"We are delighted that Donal's two main messages, the need for suicide prevention and teen care facilities, are now coming together under one roof at Console's Tralee Centre," she said.
Ms Walsh said Donal's friends, who used to meet up in their son's den at home, would choose the decor for the rooms.
"We feel this is important and it will help us create a comfortable space where young people feel safe and amongst their own," she said.
Kerry coroner Terence Casey has said there had been no suicides in the south Kerry area in the six months after Donal spoke out on the issue.
Mr Kelly said Donal "did not want young people to see suicide as an automatic solution to their problems, or a viable option".
He said Console had received a number of phone calls from young people who said Donal's message had made them stop and think.
"Even if he saved just one life, it was a life worth saving," he said.
Console's recently opened Tralee centre provides a broad range of community-based supports, services and resources for those affected by, or at risk of suicide.
The charity has full-time counselling centres in Limerick, Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Kerry and Mayo.
*Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800-201890. console.ie.